2011 Recipients - Paediatric Academic Leadership Awards


Clinician Practitioner

Dr. Reeni Soni

The Paediatric Chairs of Canada congratulate Dr. Reeni Soni as PCC’s recipient of the 2011 Paediatric Academic Leadership - Clinician Practitioner Award. Referring back to the Terms of reference for this award, the awardee will be“the clinician whose clinical practice has served as an outstanding environment for the education of trainees and the advancement of practice through knowledge translation and dissemination and leadership within the discipline.”The committee feels that Dr. Soni’s practice fits this description very well. Dr. Soni practices pediatric cardiology at the Winnipeg Children’s Hospital. She joined the department in 1998 immediately upon completing her training in the UK. She stepped in to the aftermath of the problems resulting from the release of the inquest report into the deaths of a number of babies after cardiac surgery in 1994. With the publication of the report several of the established cardiologists chose to leave Winnipeg and a very inexperienced section was left behind. By the year 2000, Dr. Soni, with just two years of practice experience, took on the role of section head and leader, at a time when it seemed that no cardiologists would ever relocate to Winnipeg. The absence of a surgery program, and the negative reputation and high level of public scrutiny were all factors that discouraged interest. She has carefully and systematically re-built cardiac care and played a lead role in the development of the Western Regional Children’s Heart Network (with centralization of  Pediatric cardiac surgery in Edmonton and a collaborative approach to care and decision-making), to the benefit of the large number of children with cardiac disease in the population served by Manitoba. Her compassion for patients, and her ability to provide high quality education to all levels of students without compromising patient safety, and her ability to work with other staff and to gain their trust and collaboration have all been cited as outstanding qualities in her nomination letter. We note that she has won at least four teaching awards at the University of Manitoba and that she has been directly involved in improving quality of care in the network. In many ways Dr. Soni embraced a trend that has spread – the closing of cardiac surgery in smaller centres and the development of systems of care that support families while ensuring that surgery is performed in centres that have sufficient volume to get the best results. The results are better by all measures, but it takes a special kind of physician to operate in this type of system – one who is truly focused on what is best for patients. Dr. Soni fits this mold.


Clinician Educator

Dr. Robert Thivierge

The Paediatric Chairs of Canada congratulate Dr. Robert Thivierge as PCC’s recipient of the 2011 Paediatric Academic Leadership - Clinician Educator Award. Dr. Thivierge is a general pediatrician who initially practiced in the community of Trois Rivieres and then moved to CHU Sainte-Justine in 1984 and has practiced emergency pediatrics for almost three decades while developing a special expertise in Pedagogy. He has focused much of his work on Continuing medical Education and Continuing professional Development. It is notable that he has done significant work and been a supporter of interdisciplinary care. He is described as a charismatic and innovative teacher who has influenced many students to pursue a career in Pediatrics and has mentored some who have gone on to become outstanding leaders. His work in the areas of CME/CPD has been influential not only on Quebec, but across Canada (he worked with the group that developed the Royal college MOCOMP Program), and he has been invited to participate in educational activities in Europe. He has been recognized with numerous awards for these efforts including   two by the Quebec Council on CME (2007) (an award for excellence in CME research and an award for excellence in CME Innovation) and one by the Canadian Association for Medical Education-AFMC (2007): for excellence in medical education. His career has moved beyond Pediatrics and he has been a Director and subsequently Vice Dean for Continuing Medical Education at the University of Montreal Faculty of Medicine. During his time in the dean’s office he has also developed a successful research partnership with others interested in the study of innovations in CME and problem-based learning. On the basis of these local, provincial national and international contributions in the area of education the committee selects Dr. Thivierge to be this year’s recipient of the Award for Clinician Educator.


Clinician Investigator

Dr. Peter Rosenbaum

The Paediatric Chairs of Canada congratulate Dr. Peter Rosenbaum as PCC’s recipient of the 2011 Paediatric Academic Leadership - Clinician Investigator Award. Dr. Rosenbaum is a Developmental pediatrician whose prolific research career has been in the field of developmental disability. In fact, he has really been a pioneer who has made this area of research attractive to young Canadian researchers and his establishment of Canchild at McMaster has been a home for many of the from across a wide range of disciplines to hone their skills. He has more than 240 peer-reviewed publications, many of which have had huge global impact. His success as a researcher has lead to a Canada Research Chair. His work has lead to a number of validated instruments for assessing children with disabilities that are used widely. He has done groundbreaking studies in the area of the lives of children with disabilities and their families. He has been a tireless advocate for Family-Centred Services for these families and has developed ways of measuring the effectiveness of this type of care. He has also had a major role in disseminating knowledge about disability and the care of children with disability. However, these accomplishments, notwithstanding their importance, would not be sufficient to merit this prestigious award. The main criterion is that the candidate should create “environments that foster opportunity for child health research” and“demonstrate(d) outstanding leadership in an administrative role within the clinical and/or academic community.” Dr. Rosenbaum has been a supervisor or committee member of more than 50 graduate students’ degrees. Even a cursory scan of the list of names reads like a who’s who of child health research in Canada. He has also been in demand as an external examiner for theses from around the world. His establishment and leadership of Canchildhas already been mentioned as creating an environment where research on disabilities flourished. For more than a year he was Acting Chair of the department of pediatrics at McMaster and since 2007 he has been the inaugural director of the McMaster Institute of Child Health as a research administrator. These activities are proof that Dr. Rosenbaum meets the criteria for this award and we are delighted to award it to him.